The virtues of formal nights & why we like them

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#21
Australia
1,234 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
I think formal night is very romantic and love wearing an evening gown and seeing my husband scrubbed up in a suit and tie instead of paint splattered overalls!
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#22
Ballinger - Bucks UK
796 Posts
Joined Feb 2011
Originally posted by floridalover5623
I love formal nights....for everyone else but myself. It provides me entertainment to see people dressed up not realizing that it not a requirement but if they enjoy dressing up, then why not?
Cruise long enough & the novelty wears off quickly. The whole formal routine on Princess will be gone shortly so the formalists should enjoy it while it lasts. It's the last mass market cruise line that hasn't officially eliminated them.
I am sorry but I disagree with you. I love formal nights. People can always go to other restaurants or the buffet on formal nights. I guess I am British and stick to the rules rather than trying to bug the system. Also youngsters do enjoy dressing up. I run 4 balls a year and everyone dresses up to the nines. Just my opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs.
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Sailed - Regent Seven Seas 8 cruises, Seabourn Odyssey, Pullmantur, Crown Princess, Celebrity Eclipse, P& O Arcadia, Cunard Queen Victoria (2), Queen Elizabeth (Round the World,) Queen Mary 2 (Transatlantic)



#23
Australia
1,234 Posts
Joined Aug 2014
Originally posted by DreamflightPat
I love formal nights........ Also youngsters do enjoy dressing up. I run 4 balls a year and everyone dresses up to the nines. Just my opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs.
We're always surprised to see how many young people follow the formal dress code and not just enjoying it but looking so puff up with pride at how beautiful/handsome they look!

I love seeing the little boys in their suits and the teenagers if not in a suit then wearing their best trousers, long sleeve shirt and a tie, or the ever popular bowtie. And the young girls positively glow with the excitement of dressing in such glamorous attire. I just wish I had space in my suitcase for more than 2 evening gowns. My husband has his suit and a change of jacket but unfortunately that's about all we can carry weight wise on international flights.
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#24
New Hampshire
5,574 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by steamsailor727
This will be my first Princess cruise (seven night northbound Alaska), but I'm planning to bring either a charcoal business suit or a tan sport coat along for formal nights. Will this be in keeping with the spirit of the event? I've looked into renting a tux, but right now I'm thinking about putting the money elsewhere.
Sure. That's fine. You'll still look great. You can put savings into the excursions or specialty restaurants if you want.
#25
New Hampshire
5,574 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by DreamflightPat
I am sorry but I disagree with you. I love formal nights. People can always go to other restaurants or the buffet on formal nights. I guess I am British and stick to the rules rather than trying to bug the system. Also youngsters do enjoy dressing up. I run 4 balls a year and everyone dresses up to the nines. Just my opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs.
On our Regal trip, I was surprised to see the teens more dressed up than many of their parents. I'm sure some is to impress girls etc. Overall they seemed to be really having a ball.
#26
New Hampshire
5,574 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by floridalover5623
I love formal nights....for everyone else but myself. It provides me entertainment to see people dressed up not realizing that it not a requirement but if they enjoy dressing up, then why not?
Cruise long enough & the novelty wears off quickly. The whole formal routine on Princess will be gone shortly so the formalists should enjoy it while it lasts. It's the last mass market cruise line that hasn't officially eliminated them.
Cunard is considered a mass market line. The formal dress code is what makes them stand out. You still see it on Crystal & some of the luxury lines, so I wouldn't say it's dying out. I think you'll see modifications. On Celebrity even with "Chic" night. The Eclipse is really a pretty dressy ship on their 14 day trips.
#27
New Hampshire
5,574 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by FollowingTheSun
Growing up in sunny Queensland, I used to hate Christmas. It was the one time of the year that mum insisted on us wearing a shirt for dinner.
If Grandma was coming, I also had to wear shoes!

I haven't improved much over the last 60 years but I did buy a new jacket for our first cruise in May this year.

The wife enjoyed watching the other travelers who had gone to some (extreme) effort to dress up.

We were so uninspired by the food in the MDR we didn't risk a formal night but it was still nice to see the others who did.

If we go on another cruise and if we can be convinced that the food has improved, I will probably pack the jacket again.
It's a shame the food was so bad. I hope you let them know about it. The Regal had very good food overall. Celebrity has seen the quality go down so much, we're checking other lines.
#28
New Hampshire
5,574 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Lucky TGO
jwattle,
You guys are going to love your cruise on the Rowboat. Formal night is a big thing on the Rowboat.
I love wearing my tux!! Billy Chrystal once said it's better to look good then feel good.
The Captain of the Rowboat,
Tony
Tony, you always look Maaaavalous, simply Mavaaavalous!
#29
New Hampshire
5,574 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by floridalover5623
If they would only serve the exact food in the Horizon buffet as in the DR most of the problems caused by people not wanting to dress formally would go away.
No, I feel the buffet should serve different food to give variety. Those who don't want to dress up can eat there & skip the formal MDR if they choose. Cunard is the only line overall that enforces the dress code across the entire ship.
#30
New Hampshire
5,574 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by Optotronics
we've only been on one cruise so far. I don't like dressing up much, but really enjoyed the 1st formal night. I wore black dress pants, teal shirt and a "trolls" tie from the Disney movie I grew tired of formal nights 2-4 on our 14 day cruise. Skipped the 3rd formal night and wore similar attire on the other nights, no coat.I did enjoy the people watching
Our 1st night was really heavy seas, some old timers said they had never seen it so rough even on a TA cruise. It was kinda scary watching all the ladies trying to navigate in heals that night. The one thing I didn't like was all the photographers blocking the stairs and every pathway each formal night. It gave me the impression that the main reason for all the formal nights was to sell photographs, but none of ours turned out nice enough to keep. The wife wanted a certain angle and would tell them so but they never got the angle she wanted in 3 nights of photographs we only kept one. I would have been content to have just one formal night each cruise.
Like the previous poster, I think it won't be too many years and the formal nights will go away with the next generation.
Even thought I wore the "troll tie" that's not what I'm doing here, I'm
Just sharing my opinion and had a great although less than comfortable time each formal night we attended.
On our last Eclipse trip, each Chic night it became more formal. Not really sure why. Formal nights don't have to be tuxes. A suit/sport coat & nice pants/shoes are fine.
#31
New Hampshire
5,574 Posts
Joined Oct 2005
Originally posted by cruzsnooze
I used to like formal nights but not anymore. I only pack one suitcase now , especially if I have to fly. I think those that like dressing up should continue to do so while those that don't shouldn't, personal choice.
I pack one case as well. Still easy to put in a suit/sport coat or 2. Yes, it's your choice, but I still feel that some codes should stay. I'd hate to see shorts in the MDR. at night. That's really where I draw the line.
#32
Queensland
6,904 Posts
Joined Dec 2009
Originally posted by steamsailor727
This will be my first Princess cruise (seven night northbound Alaska), but I'm planning to bring either a charcoal business suit or a tan sport coat along for formal nights. Will this be in keeping with the spirit of the event? I've looked into renting a tux, but right now I'm thinking about putting the money elsewhere.
I suggest you take the charcoal business suit and leave the tan sport coat at home. One suit will suffice for even a couple (or more) formal nights. Maybe wear a different coloured tie or even a coloured shirt if you prefer.
#33
Kent, UK
1,854 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
We always dress formally for formal nights. The wife loves dressing up.

I do find peoples interpretation of acceptable attire at odds with mine. I wear short sleeved polo shirts playing golf all the time but would never consider them as smart casual for MDR evening wear.
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#34
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
5,755 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by DreamflightPat
I am sorry but I disagree with you. I love formal nights. People can always go to other restaurants or the buffet on formal nights. I guess I am British and stick to the rules rather than trying to bug the system. Also youngsters do enjoy dressing up. I run 4 balls a year and everyone dresses up to the nines. Just my opinion and everyone is entitled to theirs.
It quite understandable you like dressing up since you are British. Not being derogatory but from everything I've seen on cruise ships all Brits are typically like that.
People who suggest that others go elsewhere on formal nights really have't read what Princess deems as acceptable dress. It isn't strictly a suit & tie or a gown for the ladies any longer. They've relaxed their dress code many years ago although many people still quote only what they see posted at the door to the restaurant.
Enjoy your formal nights in any fashion you choose.
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#35
162 Posts
Joined Mar 2017
This fall will be our first Princess Cruise and we are looking forward to dressing up for formal night. For us it is partly for our enjoyment (although my husband will also enjoy changing back into more comfortable clothes after dinner), but also because we want to respect our host.

We enjoy MDR for most of our meals on past cruises (Carnival, RCCL, and NCL) both for the overall atmosphere and service and also for help with portion control. It makes me sad when I see posts telling other cruisers to go to the buffet or specialty dining if they don't want to dress up. There are many who are uncomfortable with buffets due to dietary issues or other health concerns, and some may not want to spend the extra for a specialty venue - which generally request a level of dress equal to the minimum for MDR formal.
Not everyone can reasonably afford tuxes/gowns, but I think most cruisers can fit an extra nice outfit or accessories to make their formal night a special experience.
#36
Sydney, Australia
7,567 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
Originally posted by wishfulone
I just wish I had space in my suitcase for more than 2 evening gowns. My husband has his suit and a change of jacket but unfortunately that's about all we can carry weight wise on international flights.
You need Camilla! http://www.camilla.com/au/

The full length kaftans, silk crepe with crystal embellishments, weight less than 220g, and take up abount the same amount of space as a rolled tshirt.

They are expensive but there are always sales!
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#37
Sydney, Australia
7,567 Posts
Joined Jan 2014
We love formal nights. We have so few opportunities these days to dress up elegantly so really enjoy those nights when cruising.

I am slowly building a travel friendly formal wardrobe (see my post above). Our next cruise has four formal nights and, thanks to my lovely DH who bought me an early birthday present, I now have enough lightweight formal dresses to cover the four formal nights. *happy dance*

Late last year we did a last minute cruise on Carnival. I suggested to DH that he might like to just take a regular suit instead of his tuxedo. he just rolled his eyes at me, and packed the tux! We both got heaps of compliments about our formalwear.
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#38
63 Posts
Joined Dec 2006
Originally posted by keithm
No, I feel the buffet should serve different food to give variety. Those who don't want to dress up can eat there & skip the formal MDR if they choose. Cunard is the only line overall that enforces the dress code across the entire ship.
I have a problem with this way of thinking. We chose a cruise for so much more than if they have formal night. We both pay for our cruise ticket which includes being served in the MDR. I am not really the dress up kind of person but you feel that I should go to a buffet(which I am not a fan of) and serve myself or pay more money. How would you feel if they instead offered the Formal Experience for extra fee. Heck maybe they do it in Speciality Restaurant and couple it salon service for total experience. In my mind it is the same thing. That being said I will wear a dress on formal night and Hubby will wear a suit as way of paying price for eating in MDR.
#39
Vancouver, BC
17,830 Posts
Joined Feb 2002
I dress for dinner every night, just not formal. Tuxes and Suits have no place on my vacation. We usually sail on lines now that don't have them. I realize you said formal doesn't have to be tuxes an suits, but that's formal in my mind and honestly want no part of it while on vacation. Princess with it's British background will probably hang on to them a bit longer but industry wide, they're going the way of the dodo.
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#40
sw, Fl - Fort Myers Area
5,755 Posts
Joined Nov 2015
Originally posted by keithm
No, I feel the buffet should serve different food to give variety. Those who don't want to dress up can eat there & skip the formal MDR if they choose. Cunard is the only line overall that enforces the dress code across the entire ship.
It's comments such as this that cause all the arguments.
As long as Princess allows people to eat in their DR dressed neatly, no one should be taking it upon themselves to be the dress police. True formal dress is not an absolute requirement.
You should re-read Princess's guidelines about examples on to dress dressing on formal nights and you might change your mind.
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